Looking ahead to 2013…

American Adventures

I celebrated the end of 2012 and 2013’s beginning in my beloved Edinburgh with some of my closest friends. While a stack of dishes awaits me, I’m taking a moment to look at what lies ahead.

I’m making another international move and returning to the States. I wasn’t able to find a job that would sponsor me for a visa, so I’ve decided to return to the States when my student visa expires. I don’t know where life is going to take me, but with hope my roads will lead me back to Edinburgh. I’ve had an amazing, painful, life-changing time in the UK, and while I wish I could stay, it’s time for me to return to my native land.

I hope to return to Boston, where I lived as an undergraduate. I haven’t enjoyed all that Boston has to offer, and will get involved with the swing dancing community there.

In March we’ll be releasing the first issue of Far Off Places, the online literary magazine I started with three friends while living in Edinburgh. The beauty of it being online and organised through Google docs means that we can continue to work on the magazine while on separate continents.

I hope to take up blues dancing while living in Boston. I’ve heard that it’s the place to learn traditional blues in the US, and I’ve found that there’s nothing like dancing to keep me in a good mood. Blues complements lindy hop excellently, especially as some of the events I’ve attended have had blues after parties.

I will explore. I want to see more of the US (Seattle, New Orleans and San Francisco). I want to read. I want to learn.

Here’s to 2013, may it be a good year. It will be a difficult year, as I continue to navigate adulthood and try to settle in one location yet again. But it will, undoubtably, be a good’un, filled with friends both that I know and have yet to meet, pratfalls and maybe a few scavenger hunts through Boston.

Looking to 2011…and back on 2010

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

As I sit on the brink of 2011, staring forward into the new year and back into the new, I can’t help but think that 2010 was a successful year. I failed at many of my goals for 2010 (write 1+short story a month–was successful until October; submit work/enter contests–nope, unless you count the art contest I entered in Florence; read more–success; write another novel–fail, but planned one and am starting a separate one).

Others I was more successful with. I don’t know if I’ve posted more this year than last, but I feel that the quality increased. I didn’t include more pictures (I just forget), but I did start the What’s On the Bookshelf? page, which is continuing into 2011, along with What’s Beth Watching?

But 2010 was a good year. I had a grand adventure in Florence and set my sights on another (grad school in the UK). I came up with an idea for a novel. I met one of my idols (and was not disenchanted by the meeting). And I started work on my epic thesis, which will be done in April (and there will be much rejoicing throughout the land).

So, for 2011, some goals:

1. Write more.

I write every night. I want to write more. Hopefully finish a novel, or work in earnest on the one that I’m co-writing.

2. Continue writing this blog (and Sheer Art Attack)

I like writing this blog. It’s fun. For Sheer Art Attack, I need to create more art pieces. I’m working on some of Michelangelo’s David for my mom.

3. Take time to notice the small things in life.

I’m taking this as my artist’s statement. To celebrate and appreciate the simple things. The Christmas tree lights. The hugs. Family. Nature.

4. Read for me.

Whatever takes my fancy, I’ll read. I’m itching to read Smiley’s People, adoring Les Miserables and anxiously awaiting more 44 Scotland Street books.

Still breathing!

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

I’m alive. Sorry I haven’t posted anything this entire month. I really have no excuse, apart from work and internships taking up a lot of time (but in the best way possible). Alas, my various fiction endeavors have taken a back seat to researching for my thesis (which is partially due in December, entirely due the end of April). Needless to say, I am thoroughly enjoying my supplemental research. I’ve nearly completed all of the hour-long episodes of Danger Man (sorry, Holmes).

I am, however, still working on my one short story a month goal, which is going pretty well. I haven’t finished July’s story yet, but it’s been started. I’m experimenting a bit. The entire story is told through dialogue. There aren’t any dialogue tags; there are no descriptions, no thoughts. It’s fun to write. I’ve found that its a good way to test individual voices, to ensure that the characters sound different.

Shameless plug to my other blog: Sheer Art Attack which I’ve been far better at updating.

More Goals for 2010

General Geekiness

First off, remember that it’s “2010” not “20010.” I’m pretty sure that the latter will be recorded at some point in my journal.

On a more serious note, I have a few plans for this humble blog, too.

1. Post more often

Over the summer, I got into a groove. Two+ posts a week of decent to quite good quality. Once school started up again, the post frequency diminished. I hope to bring some sort of posting schedule. Looking at my schedule for next semester, I’ll probably post at least once a week on Wednesdays. This will start the end of January, and I’ll continue on my sporadic posting schedule until then.

2. Increase post quality

I’m a bit of a fly-by-the-seat of my pants person when it comes to blog posts. Some entries are well thought out, well planned and the product of a couple of days work. Other posts…well, they’re written at 2 am and I’m lucky if I proofread. Proofing will be the first step towards this goal! I’m also thinking of putting together a series, of what, I’m not sure, but a common thread should help unify my posts.

3. Include more pictures!

My posts are usually boring. No pictures. Lots of text. But starting next year, I hope to include images with my posts. Most will (hopefully) be taken by yours truly. I’m going to be traveling and should take some spectacular shots.

4. Include a list of books I finish in the What’s On the Bookshelf? page

I tried this and kept forgetting to update. Starting January 1, you’ll see a list of what I’ve read for the year, broken down by month. This probably will include texts I’m reading for school, but I do find these mentally stimulating. My bio text this last semester was particularly interesting (The Coming Plague by Laurie Garrett).

Looking Ahead: Some Goals for 2010

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

As 2009 winds down, I turn my thoughts from Christmas dinner (roast beef and English roast potatoes…yum!) and the year ahead. 2009 was a good year and the blank expanse of 2010 is promising (if daunting). I have a few writing goals set for myself.

1. Write one(+) short story a month

Given that my short story production this year was…three…this will be a definite improvement. I hope to write a variety of genres. Fantasy, sci fi, historical, mystery…who knows?

2. Submit work/enter contests

I’ve received some encouragement to submit various short stories to magazines. I’ve wanted to submit my work since high school, but never felt that I was good enough for publication outside of the school literary magazine (and have refrained from my college’s lit mag because my work is so atypical of what they publish). Part of my hesitation is rejection, but I know I’ll have to deal with it. Aim high, fall fast; I have years to improve.

3. Read more

Yes, I need to read more. I always do (I’ve joked about changing the name of the blog to She Reads Too Much). Fortunately, my courses for next semester look like they’ll be chock full of interesting (and informative) reads: I’m taking a course on Dante, Petrarca and Boccaccio along with one on Florentine architecture.

4. Write another novel

I’m going to write the first draft, with hope. Either my pilots or my alt reality WWIIesque Resistance piece. Although this may be pushed aside due to writing my thesis/distinction piece/grad school applications. Though, I do have roughly a month before the semester begins, and two months summer vacation…hmmm…I’ll just have to not let research distract me too much. 😀

Photo (C) Beth